This free printable Valentine’s Day beginning sounds game is a great addition to your valentine activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids! It’s easy to prep, and you don’t need many materials to get the initial sounds activity started.
The valentine picture cards let children practice important phonemic awareness skills. AND you can easily tweak the printable to make it into a phonics activity. I love activities that can be differentiated to meet the needs of different students!
And don’t worry, you can use the printable in a variety of beginning sounds activities. This way, the kids are engaged and learning in a multitude of ways.
Related: Free Preschool Printables
Read below for directions, tips, and some ideas for using the valentine phonemic awareness printable with your students. Once you’re done here, be sure to get your own copy of the free printable at the very bottom of the post.
Valentine’s Day Beginning Sounds
Explicit literacy instruction, at all levels, is important for children. Of course, this instruction doesn’t need to be a lecture that’s an hour long. In fact, an hour-long literacy lecture won’t really help young kids. But the do need to be taught skills like sound discrimination and phoneme isolation in clear, short bursts.
And then the children need time to practice the concepts again and again (and again!). Preferably in a variety of ways. That’s where this simple printable game comes in. It lets you review the concept of determining, isolating, and matching beginning sounds in an engaging and fun manner.
How to Prep the Valentine Initial Sounds Cards
To start things off, gather the materials you need to prep the printable. Here’s what I tend to use (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Scissors (a paper cutter would work well, too)
- Laminator and laminating sheets
If you plan to use any other items in conjunction with the Valentine’s Day beginning sounds game, grab those, too. Some possibilities:
- Magnetic letters
- White board
- Dry erase markers
- Valentine-themed sensory materials
Once you have all of the supplies, it’s time to get the picture cards prepped! Here’s what to do:
- First, have the file sent to your email inbox via the form at the end of this post.
- Then save the file to your computer.
- Open it in the most up-to-date version of Adobe Reader (it’s a free program).
- Print the initial sounds game, making as many copies as you desire.
- Cut the cards apart.
- Finally, laminate it all and cut again.
I spelled every single step out, so maybe that seems like a lot! But it really isn’t. You can have the valentine initial sound cards ready for the kids to use this week, in fact.
Using the Valentine’s Day Beginning Sounds Printable
I suggest starting off with a simple matching game. First, review the concept of beginning sounds in words:
- Say a word out loud, maybe one of your students’ names.
- Model saying the word slowly, with an emphasis on the initial sound.
- Say the first sound on its own a few times.
You might model the process a couple of times. Once you’re done modeling, invite your students to join you. Then introduce the Valentine’s Day beginning sounds matching game to your students.
We’re going to play a beginning sounds matching game! We’re delivering valentines to mailboxes. We match the valentines to the mailboxes that have the same beginning sounds.”
Then model the concept by matching a few of the cards. I suggest playing this game in a small group if possible. You don’t need to use every single initial sound card. Choose them based on your students’ needs. Help the kids say the words out loud to isolate the first sound as they match the cards.
After a while, some of your students might want to use the cards on their own or with their peers. Once you’re comfortable that they understand, let them at it! You can eventually add the Valentine’s Day beginning sounds printable to your literacy center, if you want.
Other Ways to Use the Phonemic Awareness Printable
Of course there are other ways to use the valentine sound cards! Here are some possibilities to try with your students:
- Add the laminated cards to a sensory bin (perhaps our valentine sensory bin). Have the kids hunt for the cards before matching them.
- Pair the Valentine’s Day beginning sounds printable with magnetic letters (or other alphabet manipulatives). Challenge the kids to find the corresponding letter for each valentine-mailbox pair.
- Encourage the children to write the letters that match each pair of cards on a white board or chalkboard.
- Have your students write the appropriate letter for each set of cards in a sensory writing tray.
- Give the kids paper and crayons. See if they can draw more valentines for each of the mailbox. Remind them it’s based on initial sounds. If possible, laminate their cards and use them during the next matching game.
How would you use the Valentine’s Day beginning sounds cards with your students? Don’t forget to get the free printable at the bottom of this post!
Digital & Printable Beginning Sounds Activity Pack
Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you a ton of time with fully-developed, done-for-you early childhood resources. We have lesson plans, digital games, dramatic play packs, classroom management guides, center time songs, and so much more in our shop. Or join The Pack, our membership for preschool and kindergarten teachers, for a steep discount on our products.
Click on the image below to get our Beginning Sounds Activity Pack. It’s available on Google Slides, in printable format, and even in Seesaw. The games are self-checking when playing digitally, and you have the option of using the included audio prompts!
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
What’s Included in the Free Printable
The free printable Valentine’s Day beginning sounds printable comes with 7 pages of mailbox and valentine picture cards. Each letter of the alphabet is represented, even those letters with similar sounds (like c and k). The letter x has two choices – one with the sound at the beginning, like the other cards, and one with the sound at the end. Just in case that meshes more with how you teach the various letter sounds.
Here’s a breakdown of the matching pairs:
- apple, alligator
- basketball, bird
- cat, cactus
- dog, diamond
- envelope, emerald
- five, foot
- gorilla, garbage
- hay, hat
- igloo, inchworm
- jellyfish, jump
- kite, kiwi
- lightbulb, ladder
- magnifying glass, map
- necklace, narwhal
- octagon, octopus
- popcorn, paint
- quiet, quilt
- raspberry, road
- strawberry, Saturn
- toast, tooth
- underground, upstairs
- vest, volcano
- wheel, waffle
- x-ray, x-ray fish
- box, fox
- yak, yield
- zucchini, zoo
I hope you and your students enjoy the valentine-themed phonemic awareness game!
More Beginning Sounds Activities
If you’re looking for more ideas for practicing initial sounds and beginning letter sounds, here you go:
- St. Patrick’s Day Beginning Sounds
- Building S’Mores Beginning Letter Sounds Activity
- Easter Beginning Sounds
- Beginning Letter Sounds Clip Cards
- Pumpkin Beginning Sounds
- Lego Beginning Letter Sounds Activity
- Pumpkin Pie Beginning Sounds
What are some of your favorite ways for teaching this concept?
Free Printable Valentine’s Day Beginning Sounds Cards
This free printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s (also free!) email community. If you’re already a member, add your email in the form below to have the download link sent to your inbox. If you’re not a member yet, you can join by entering your information in the same form below. Then the valentine beginning sounds printable will be sent to you as a welcome gift.
If you don’t see the above form, you can open it in a new tab.
Thank you. This is going to be a fun one to do together 🙂
Mary Catherine says
Wonderful to hear, Duncan! Let me know how it goes if you get the chance to try the valentine beginning sounds game. 🙂
I can report back – He enjoyed it briefly then life took over!
Mary Catherine says
That’s great to hear, thank you, Duncan!